History of Public Relations

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The history of public relations began in the early 1900s when promoters offered information on live entertainment to the public. The science behind public relations was developed by Edward Bernays. Learn how PR is part of the integrated marketing communications mix with information from a public relations and marketing professor in this free video on public relations.

Part of the Video Series: Marketing & Public Relations
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Mark, and I'm going to briefly talk about the history of public relations. Public relations really developed in the early part of the last century. It was founded, really, on the basis of early business practices -- what we call the promoters. The early promoters of live entertainment -- circuses, theater, concerts. These were the people that obviously had to go out onto the streets and promote what they were doing, and they had...obviously had to sell and communicate the benefits of what they were offering. These were the early runners of the public relations business as it is today. But the real science of public relations developed around a gentleman named Edward Bernays, who they call the self-appointed father of public relations. Bernays was the profession's first theorist. Today, public relations is a massive communications tool, and it's part of the integrated marketing communications mix. It depends, obviously, on the perspective of the organization. Some people believe that public relations is the central theme of it in terms of its strategy to communicate with all of its business publics. Others believe it's just a part of the mix, and can be...and should be used in conjunction with marketing efforts. Either which way, public relations is the voice piece of the organization in terms of communicating with its various shareholders and publics.

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